1) Get an MMJ recommendation from a state-licensed physician.
Only those Arizona residents with a medical condition listed by the Department of Health Services qualify for medicinal cannabis treatments (see the FAQ below for the list). As such, patients first need to be evaluated by a licensed doctor who will certify that they have one of the listed medical conditions and issue a recommendation for marijuana treatments. This must be done for every medical marijuana card, including renewals.
2) Submit an application with the Department of Health Services
Following your certification and recommendation for medical marijuana, your evaluating physician will most likely submit the required documents to the Department. Once they do so, you simply pay the associated fees and wait for your MMJ ID to arrive by mail. It should arrive within 10 business days.
If, however, your physician does not submit these documents, you will have to receive a Physician Certification Form from them and complete the state application yourself. To do so, simply fill out the patient application found here. A list of the documents required alongside the application can be found in the FAQ below.
3) Pay the associated fee of $150
Your fee can be reduced to $75 if you show proof of SNAP benefits. This cost is for a 2-year Arizona MMJ ID.
Believe it or not, the first medical marijuana bill in Arizona was passed in 1996. The initiative included some drug policy reform along with a provision allowing physicians to issue prescriptions for medical marijuana. However, this provision was ultimately feckless, as it directly conflicted with federal law. This was obviously not the end of medical marijuana legislation in Arizona. A bill was again presented to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana in 2002, but the initiative failed once again. Nevertheless, medical marijuana was finally legalized when Proposition 203 was approved with 50.1% of the vote.
Despite the success of the proposal, marijuana as a whole remained deeply unpopular with many of the sheriffs, law enforcement officials, and politicians in the state. This was made abundantly clear when Proposition 205 to legalize recreational marijuana was soundly defeated in 2016. The campaign against the bill resulted in serious fundraising efforts by Governor Doug Ducey, Sheldon Adelson, and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among many others. However, thanks to the Arizona Dispensaries Association, Arizona voters will once again have the opportunity to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana on the 2020 ballot.
Arizona is a southwestern state that shares its border with Utah, New Mexico, California, Colorado, Nevada, and the Mexican states of Baja Californian and Sonora. With almost 7.5 million residents within its borders, Arizona is the 14th largest state by population. The area was originally a part of New Spain before it became part of Mexico after its successful War of Independence in 1821. Not long after, the United States gained control over the territory in 1848 following the Mexican-American War. Nevertheless, it would take until 1912 when Arizona was admitted into the Union as the 48th state.
Arizona is known for its desert climate, mountain ranges, and canyons, many of which attract visitors from around the world. Some of the most notable are the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend, the Petrified Forest Natural Park, Havasu Falls, the Painted Desert, Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, and the Chapel of the Holy Cross.
Efforts to legalize marijuana have long been underway in Arizona. It finally did so for medical use in 2010, yet recreational marijuana remains illegal. Arizona voters have another chance to decide the legality of recreational weed, however, on the 2020 ballot.
According to the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, employers can't penalize those employees who are qualifying patients if they fail a marijuana drug test. However, this doesn't apply if the patient used, possessed, or was under the influence of marijuana during work hours or within the workplace. Be sure to consult a state-licensed attorney to learn how the Medical Marijuana Act applies to your work situation.
The Department of Health Services accepts written requests every January and July regarding the addition of new medical conditions to the list of qualifying conditions. If your medical condition is not listed, you may formally request a change after providing the following:
* The name of the medical condition.
* A list of the symptoms. This should include descriptions of how these symptoms are debilitating for daily life.
* The current availability of traditional treatments for the condition;
* A review of any evidence supporting the efficacy of marijuana treatments for the medical condition.
* Any peer-reviewed articles or research regarding medical marijuana treatments and the medical condition.
Patients must present a few documents to the Department alongside their completed applications. Be sure to provide a current photograph of the patient from within the past 60 days and a copy of one of the following: Arizona driver’s license or state ID; a U.S. passport photo; a completed copy of the Medical Marijuana Patient Attestation Form; and a Medical Marijuana Physician Certification Form completed by your evaluating physician. Both forms can be found here, on the ADHS website. You can also provide SNAP documentation for a discount in your Arizona state application fee. You'll also need a valid credit card, debit card, or pre-paid card for the application fee.
Arizona medical marijuana cards are only valid for two years. As such, all qualifying patients must re-apply for renewal within 30 days of their MMJ expiration date. Keep in mind that Arizona marijuana patients are required to obtain a medical evaluation every time they renew their MMJ registration.
Arizona medical patients can only possess 2.5 ounces of "usable marijuana." This is defined by the law as "dried flowers of the marijuana plant and any mixtures or preparations thereof."
Under the current legislation, no medical marijuana patient is allowed to consume cannabis in any public place. This also includes dispensaries. They will face criminal penalties if they do so. Arizona's medical marijuana law also gives nursing care facilities, hospice centers, assisted living facilities, or adult foster homes the ability to impose restrictions on marijuana use in their locations. Arizona employers, too, are allowed to issue restrictions on marijuana use in their workplaces.
A qualifying patient or their designated caregiver may be approved by the Department to cultivate medical marijuana if the qualifying patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary.
A dispensary may be licensed to cultivate at its location or at an additional cultivation site. Regardless, all zoning restrictions in the area of cultivation must be complied with. All cultivation sites must be "enclosed, locked areas" as defined by the law.
Those Arizona patients who are licensed to cultivate must do so in "an enclosed, locked facility." Marijuana greenhouses would fall under this definition so long as the site includes "locks or other security devices that permit access only by a cardholder." Sites will also be considered enclosed if they are circled by "solid 10-foot walls constructed of metal, concrete, or stone that prevent any viewing of the marijuana plants, with a one-inch thick metal gate."
The amount of marijuana a designated caregiver may grow or possess is limited by the number of qualifying patients the designated caregiver is assisting. It is limited to 12 plants per qualifying patient. Caregivers cannot have more than 5 medical marijuana patients under their assistance. Patients themselves are limited to 12 plants, so long as they do not live within 25 miles of a dispensary.
So long as an Arizona resident meets the requirements for the state medical program, they can become a designated caregiver by submitting an application on the Department of Health Services website. Caregivers must be at least 21 years old without any conviction of excluded felony offenses on their criminal record.
Yes, as long as the requirements are met, Arizona residents can become both caregivers and medical patients themselves.
Yes, caregivers can cultivate marijuana in Arizona, but their designated patient(s) must live more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary. Also, caregivers are limited to 12 plants per qualifying patient.
All caregivers must submit a sample of their fingerprints during their registration. To do so, they must get in touch with a local law enforcement agency or a private company that conducts fingerprint sampling. More detailed instructions can be found on the Health Department website here. Not only that, but all caregivers must re-submit their fingerprints every 2 years.